How To Live Your Best Life at 25

Throughout my early twenties, there were so many times when I doubted myself and what I was capable of. I was stuck in this rut of a mindset wondering how it could be possible to just start over from the beginning and create a life I could be unashamedly and unapologetically proud of. Where would I even begin?

Just pick a place, and start.  

My life was an established safe zone. No breaking the rules, no sharing too much of my opinion, no taking too many chances, no pushing limits, no trying too hard. Everything was safe and comfortable.

All I remember thinking during that time was, “this isn’t what I want” or “this doesn’t feel right”. I felt stuck in life in my early twenties; stuck in this pre-determined timeline of all of the things I need to accomplish, or boxes I need to check off the list, by x, y, and z date(s).

Society and the world around me seemed to have already created a plan for how my life should pan out — graduate from college, land the perfect full-time job and the boy, get an apartment, get engaged, get married. We’ve all heard that annoying voice in the back of our head telling us this is how things should be. Well, society, appreciate the kind gesture and proactive planning, but seriously no thanks!

Somewhere along the line, I realized I wasn’t even living my life for myself. I was living a life I thought I was supposed to be living — safe and comfortable.

So, I picked a place and started from the very beginning.

This is how I have transformed my life from one that was just passing me by, into one I am unashamedly and unapologetically proud of.

  • I put myself as my #1 priority.

I make it a priority to take good care of my mind, body, and spirit. Trying new things to keep a positive and optimistic outlook on life day in and out. Becoming my own best friend, knowing I am good enough all on my own.

  • I focus on what makes me happy.

I invest time, effort, and happiness in the things (tangible or not) that make me feel accomplished and fulfilling. I invest in everything that makes me the best version of myself.

  • I say yes to new opportunities.

I love new. I love exciting, challenging, and taking chances. I love saying yes to anything and everything that is so far out of my comfort zone in order to become stronger and wiser; to make myself an overall better human being.

  • I learn, forgive, and move forward.

Something didn’t work out? I tried and I failed? I loved and I lost? Great, lesson learned and onto the next. I try, I fail, I learn, I grow, I succeed. I forgive my past and embrace what’s to come. I move forward.

  • I travel.

I don’t get too comfortable in one place. I don’t stick to a clique. I travel to learn about the world, hear and share stories from varying ways and walks of life. I become a better, well-rounded, human learning to embrace the gift of life. Cherishing those who lift me up, and inspiring those who need some uplifting in their lives.

  • I embrace different cultures.

Through travel and sharing adventures with individuals from all over the world, I have learned that I have a gift – a gift of sharing my love with not just one person, but many people. With places, ideas, passions. With everything this world has to offer.

  • I trust the process.

I’ve learned that there is no reason to dwell on the what coulda shoulda woulda. Learning to do the best I can possibly do in everything that I do; everything will find a way to work out in the end.

  • I have faith.

When I’m having an off day, or I’m just not feeling inspired or happy, I lean on my faith. I open the bible and read God’s uplifting and generous words, and that alone brings me back to where I need to be. Every day, I write down three things I’m grateful for because, in my experience, a positive attitude begins with a grateful spirit.

  • I surround myself with quality, positive people.

I have vowed to live an unapologetic life filled with people who allow me to be the best version of myself. Those toxic relationships in your life? You don’t need them, I promise you that.

  • I prioritize self-love over dating.

This alone completely transformed my life; how I live my life and how I view my life. I have found more love and appreciation for the woman I am and the things I’ve accomplished. I’ve found more worth and purpose from a positive, driven, charismatic spirit than I could ever find from one man. I have learned that men may come and go until the right one comes along, but even so, I am enough all on my own.

  • I don’t settle.

I don’t put my life on hold for him. I don’t wait for him; I don’t wait for him to change, for him to choose me, for him to treat me better. I don’t settle for less than I deserve.

  • I willingly do things that scare me.

I push my limits and take in everything life has to offer, because life is too short not to.

  • I don’t take myself, or life, too seriously.

From personal experience, the only way I really know how to deal with the ups and downs is by anticipating plot twists, and finding humor whenever possible.

  • I spend more money on experiences than “stuff”.

In 60 years from now, I want to look back on a life filled with love, experiences, and moments from around the world. I want to garner enough wisdom in my life through experiences to share with/inspire friends, family, children, grandchildren.

  • I invested in my company’s 401(k) and savings account.

Ok yes, this is a very responsible and safe thing to do. But I definitely know future me will appreciate this 10-20 years from now.

  • I work hard on the things I’m passionate about.

I make time for photography, writing, creating content. Even running, dancing like a fool in my apartment, singing Whitney Houston as loud as I want — investing time in the things that inspire me and trying something new every now and then to keep myself on my toes.

  • I voice my opinion with the intention of making an impact.

In just 25 years, I’ve experienced more than many people can say at that age. Both good and bad, and everything in between. But I’ve learned from every experience and have gained an immense amount of wisdom — too much to not share with the people going through similar experiences. I want to be the voice for those who can’t speak up; be the light for those who can’t find it in themselves; the encouragement for those who don’t feel it.

  • I party on the weekends.

I’m still young, wild, and reckless. I work hard and party harder. I live life on the wild side like a typical 25-year old single woman. And honestly, you should too, because the reality is time passes by all too quickly, and your twenties are the years to be wild for a while.

  • I appreciate the woman I’ve become.

I love being with friends and family, but I love time to myself just as much. I appreciate the person I’ve become — I appreciate taking time to grow independently, spiritually, physically, emotionally. Taking the time to enjoy my own company and simply be in the moment. Learning from my mistakes and achievements, accepting the past and embracing the future. Welcoming each new day as exactly that — a new day. A new day to learn, grow, fail, and succeed.

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Chasing Dreams With A Gypsy State Of Mind

If you asked me five years ago what I pictured my life to be like at 25-years-old, my answer would not be chasing big city dreams with a gypsy state of mind.

I can’t pinpoint exactly when or where my life took a 360-turn and everything changed — my spirit, my desire for more, my independence, my zest for life.

But, I can tell you that it all started with heartbreak and hitting my personal, darkest, most-ultimate low. A point in time where I came to realize that I wasn’t living a life that was undeniably mine, pushing my limits to really understand the meaning of my life; or what my purpose was.

I wish I had a better explanation for how my mindset and perspective changed, because I know how many people in this world could really use that type of advice right now — but I don’t. All I really have to say is that one day, I woke up from this new level of darkness and heartache that I didn’t understand, and made a conscious decision to fight back. I know just as well as the next person, that heartbreak and depression affect every angle of your life, from every spectrum across the board — but even so, it can [at times] be what triggers and reignites that fire, curiosity, and ambition that has since been lost.

At a certain point, I decided I wanted more for myself; I needed more for myself, and I made a commitment to say yes to every opportunity in order to live my best, most fulfilling life.

So, why does this even matter? What has one, single decision of just saying yes to life done for me?

Professionally

  • Promotions and taking on a larger role with a leading premium content publisher.

Personally

  • Taking pride and dedication in taking my writing journey to the next level — working more closely with Thought Catalog and ENTITY Mag as an established Author on leading content and media magazine platforms.
  • Building my personal brand: creating effective social content and collaborating with top-brands around the world.
  • Traveling: Instead of placing my worth in the hands of others, I’ve taken full control and ownership of my worth through practicing self-love and sharing it with new places and people — from varying ways and walks of life; coast to coast and internationally.
  • Making a difference. To learn and know myself well enough to not care about contrasting opinions — to stay true to my heart, share my love, and encourage those from all over the world. To make a difference whenever, wherever possible.

So, why does this even matter? This matters because YOU CAN come back from the dark place. YOU CAN start over; create a life that was destined to be yours. YOU CAN create your own success story. YOU CAN change your perspective; YOU CAN change your life.

This matters because for the last several years, I’ve had people repeatedly asking me how I can just do what I do; in my professional and personal life, from all over the world. Well, my answer is really quite simple. I decided to say yes. I decided to live my life, not according to social norm and expectations; but exactly the opposite.

To live my life differently from anyone else; to shape my life based on my dreams, my wishes, and my passions. 

My happiness and my success are not defined by the amount of money I make — my happiness and success are defined by finding passion and purpose in everything I do; sharing unwavering love, encouragement, and spontaneity with everyone, anywhere, and everywhere in this world.

How you define your happiness and success — well, that is 100% completely and unashamedly up to YOU.

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Officially Taking MDW To…😏

Welcome to New York, it’s been waitin’ for you. ❤️

As anyone and their mothers could imagine, I live a very chaotic, high performance, spontaneous lifestyle.

I don’t like becoming too comfortable in one place for too long because all I want to do is find a new adventure, meet new people, and experience a different side of the world. My heart literally craves the high and adrenaline rush that comes from always being on-the-go; picking a place on a map and just saying yes.

So naturally, as everyone started asking about my Memorial Day Weekend plans [and realizing how I really hadn’t planned anything at all…] I went to one of my best girlfriends who lives in the heart of Manhattan. We have been talking about me coming to NYC for like, ever, but life’s crazy has gotten in the way more than a couple of times.

It took us a solid ten minutes, give or take, to purchase my tickets and plan a full blown Manhattan girls weekend.

Side note: last week was the most insane work week of my life, I thought I would honestly need through MDW to sleep off the stress. So…

Needless to say, there’s no place I’d rather let loose than THE BIG APPLE!

Lots of people ask me how I can afford these random, last minute trips. Well, I have a travelers trick for y’all. 😜

Two words: Hopper App

Seriously, it’s the greatest. It’s where I bought my Ireland, Iceland, and now New York City round trip tickets — and it’s super easy!

  • Download Hopper from your mobile App Store
  • Enter your travel to and from destinations
  • Voila! Hopper will spit out the lowest rates out there (seriously, sometimes these rates are crazy not to jump on…)

So, to all my wanderlust travel bugs out there — you’ve found your saving grace! I’m not a millionaire and I don’t have a tree of unlimited cash, but I do put a decent chunk of change in my savings account with each paycheck, so if I can find a way to do what I love at 25…you can too. 😘

Obviously, there’s going to be never-ending photos and videos of my Manhattan adventures, so be sure to follow along @alexaraeloebel. New York may be the next city to steal my heart…🌍❤️

We’ll find out, NYC!

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Single State Of Mind

Just as any other 25-year-old single woman, I get asked one question, far more often than most.

So today, I’m going to give you both vulnerable and blatantly honest, yet very different answers to the universal, million dollar question.

Why are you single?

I’m single because I friend-zone before I fall. While I have an immense amount of love to give, I feel pretty close to incapable of opening my heart and life to someone else. At least right here and right now. Not out of fear of rejection or heartbreak, because that I can handle. Rather, it stems from feeling skeptical of what exactly true and genuine love has the potential to be.

I’m single because I have a very difficult time trusting men. I have always been the type of person to have a pretty good and fairly accurate read on people after meeting them — yet even if it’s the nicest guy in the world, a part of me will always remain cautious and skeptical until actions have proven otherwise. This has more to do with past experiences than it does with any one specific person.

I’m single because I know my heart, and I know it well. When it’s right, I know my heart will allow me to open up and fall unapologetically. Until then, I’m perfectly content not rushing into anything — seeking love just doesn’t seem right, or worth it for that matter. But, patient and genuine love does.

There you have it — my three main [and extremely vulnerable] answers to the million dollar question. That said, there’s still a greater story around this question. So, here are my open and blatantly honest answers…

I’m single because I love being single. That’s an easy one. I love playing the game of life by my own rules, pushing my own limits, and pressing pause on any given chapter at any given time. I love the high that comes from paving my own path and building my very own success story. I love being wild and free, taking on any and every challenge, anywhere in the world, because I have nothing holding me back or keeping me tied down.

I’m single because, quite frankly, I just don’t like dating. It’s exhausting and confusing. I have way too many other priorities in my own hectic, always on-the-go, life to have dating become a set priority. To be honest, I prefer to not even use the word “date” or “dating”. I’d rather just say let’s go grab food, hang out, go to the park — I will legitimately use any word but date.

I’m single because I’m fully invested in my friendships. My girlfriends are my rock, my voice of reason, my people. More often than not, this is why I result to friend-zoning men to begin with. Out of building that level of comfort and trust from the get-go, yes. But also because I have come to value true, genuine, and quality friendships before relationships, and maintaining them is a priority.

I’m single because I value and appreciate my “me” time. I live a very chaotic, high-performance life — both personally and professionally. Learning to love being alone at times; and taking that time to be really, truly present and in the moment. That in itself has taken lots of practice and time. And I love it. It allows me to put my to-be-continued success story as #1.

I’m single because I’m a wanderer. I don’t like to stay in one place for too long. I like new and exciting. I live for the thrill and spontaneous adventure. I have too many places to see, cultures to experience, and people to meet before settling down with one person in one place.

I’m single because I’m so comfortable in my own skin. Maybe a little too comfortable…either way, I love living my own life on my own terms, by my own playbook, setting my own rules.

I’m single because I realize I only have so many years to be really, truly single. I only have so much time to create the life I wanted; a life designed specifically for me, my vision, and my passions before I have to think about sharing all of it with someone else. This is the time in my life where I am my #1 priority.

I’m single because I have too much love in my heart and soul to share with far too many people, places, and things in this world. At this moment, right here, right now. 

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25 And On The Pursuit Of Traveling The 🌍

Today, I wrote my Fast Forward Vision.

Come again?

Ever heard of a vision board? It’s basically creating something visual (maybe even something physical or tangible) and utilizing it as a powerful way to manifest your life’s desires.

Now, imagine you’re standing in front of a 12-foot wall and while you’re standing there holding your vision board, the wind (in this case, a blessing) blows your vision board out of your hands and over the wall. What do you do now? Well, I sure as hell hope you aren’t going to just walk away and leave your vision board behind!

No, you’re going to get yourself over the 12-foot wall and get your vision board — because it’s your dreams, your greatest desires. Even if you don’t know how you’ll do it, or what the process will be like — you will find a way.

What does that analogy have to do with anything? Thisdon’t let one setback, no matter how big or small, keep you from your life’s greatest desires. 

Fast forward one year from now.

Work life and dating aside, what do I want to look back on in one year and confidently say I lived my best 365 days?

For me — travel. To travel far and often. To bucket list countries, iconic cities, and white sandy islands.

If you know me, and know me well, my one rule for 2018 is to live a life of yes. So, after I wrote my fast forward vision I think you can imagine my next move…

  1. Opened my Hopper App
  2. Searched Chicago 🇺🇸 to Reykjavik 🇮🇸
  3. “Is it under $350?”
  4. Yes
  5. Purchased. Booked. And confirmed.

Why Iceland?

It’s not all about the tropical destinations, y’all! To be completely honest — I have always been in love with the Nordic countries, ever since I can remember. Visiting and experiencing The Blue Lagoon and witnessing first hand The Northern Lights, what 25 year old passionate traveler wouldn’t want that reality!

The rest is just personal bucket list hopes and desires that I’ve chosen to make a reality within 365 days.

So, here’s to 25 — a year of yes. A year to making your vision board come to life!

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